Prepare for DAM

Embarking on a new Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy and don't know where to start?

The experienced NetX Onboarding team will guide you through a successful implementation, but here's some info to point you in the right direction. Remember... DAM is a journey, not a destination.

What makes DAM different?

Managing your digital assets in a dedicated DAM application is much more than just storing files on a server.
With DAM comes the power of:

  • search
  • workflows
  • managed access
  • version control
  • repurposing
  • usage history
  • transcoding 
  • automation 
  • system integration

Original digital files are transformed into valuable assets with:

  • metadata
  • permissions
  • versioning
  • relationships
  • renditions
  • thumbnails and previews


5 things to think about when implementing a DAM system

Appoint a DAM Administrator

A dedicated Digital Asset Manager is the number one key to a successful implementation and your champion for ongoing user adoption. Develop a job description and assign a dedicated resource. This important role should not come as an afterthought. 

  • Ownership
    Involved in the project from the beginning, the Admin is in charge of configuration and becomes your organization's DAM expert.
  • Librarian
    Develops a metadata strategy, curates assets, streamlines asset acquisition, and oversees the asset lifecycle.
  • User engagement
    Works closely with all users to assess workflow needs, then fine-tunes DAM processes and configurations to meet those needs.
  • Governance
    Ensures users can access the assets they need and revoke access when needed. Responsible for protecting sensitive content.
  • Help and support
    Provides first-level help and training for end-users. The main point of contact for the DAM Vendor's support team.
Consult stakeholders

Everyone likes to have their voice heard, even if they're not directly involved in the project. Taking an inclusive approach from the beginning helps you better address your users' needs.

  • Implementation team
    Keep it small — identify colleagues that have valuable input on the taxonomy, workflows, and functionality of your DAM. You’ll still want to consult with most business units, but that doesn’t mean everyone should join the implementation team.
  • User stories
    Hold discovery sessions to understand digital asset workflows throughout your organization. Gather requirements from all teams that use the DAM. Document this in detail.
  • Executive sponsorship
    Ensure your DAM project is supported to secure budget approval and allocate appropriate resources to the project.
  • IT services
    While most cloud-hosted systems require very little IT involvement, self-hosted sites depend on a skilled IT team to handle the infrastructure.
Refine your taxonomy

Taxonomy is the process of naming and classifying things into groups within a larger system. In the context of DAM, a taxonomy is used to classify and organize digital files and the metadata that describes those files. Most importantly, a DAM taxonomy is what drives search. Good classification = good search results = happy users. 

  • Search behavior
    Think about who your end-users are and how they will find what they're looking for.
  • Organizational taxonomy
    Look at the words, phrases, and acronyms that are used within your organization and come to a consensus. Find out if there is a current taxonomy (i.e. corporate website or product descriptors) that can be leveraged for the DAM.
  • Striking a balance
    Search will be ineffective if there isn’t enough metadata. If there's too much, the system becomes unmanageable and usability suffers.
  • Workflows
    Consider how you might leverage metadata to help drive your digital asset workflows.
Start collecting your assets

Preparing assets for migration is often the most time-intensive phase of a DAM implementation — and the easiest to procrastinate on — so start now! The old adage of garbage in, garbage out is very true when it comes to DAM. 

  • Locate and aggregate
    Start gathering your files in one place as soon as possible. Ideally, files will be ready to import within a month of starting your DAM onboarding project.
  • Resist storing everything
    By definition, an asset is "a useful or valuable thing". Therefore, your DAM should keep assets that have value to your organization. You don't need every single digital file to go into the DAM.
  • Evaluate metadata
    Review your existing folder structures, assets, and metadata. Evaluate what you have against what you need and start planning your data migration. It's OK to start from scratch too.
  • Filename conventions
    Filenames often don't get as much attention as they should. A consistent and useful filenaming convention has many benefits for your users. 
DAM is an initiative, not just an application

Dedicating time, effort, and resources throughout the implementation pays off. With a clear vision of your organizational needs, your DAM will evolve and be embraced by users — both now and into the future.

  • Implement in phases
    Focus on a single, high-value use case for quick adoption, faster ROI, and improved efficiency. You can always add bells and whistles in Phase 2 once your users are familiar with the basics.
  • Usability is key
    Make sure both you and the system are ready for launch. Consider a soft launch with a handful of key users first, before everyone signs on at once.
  • Be loud, be proud
    Appoint a few DAM cheerleaders to help with organizational change management and encourage user adoption.  Let everyone know what's coming and how this will benefit the way they work.
  • We're all in this DAM business together
    Join the DAM community. Attend webinars and conferences to learn from those who've traveled this road before you. Have a DAM chat with other organizations in your industry. Strive to be a DAM professional!

Get Inspired!

Learn how other organizations successfully implemented NetX to solve their digital asset management challenges: NetX Digital Asset Management Case Studies.

Ready to get started? See an Introduction to NetX Onboarding.

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